The foundation of our vaccine success is the Prevnar franchise, known as Prevenar in most markets outside the U.S. Prevnar, the world's top-selling vaccine, is associated with significant public health benefits in regions where it is routinely used. Prevnar 13, approved in more than 40 countries for use by infants and young children, provides the broadest serotype coverage of any pneumococcal conjugate vaccine available and constitutes a new platform for growth.
Our pipeline is focused on the discovery and development of first-in-class and/or best-in-class novel vaccines. Our preventive vaccine late-stage pipeline includes Prevnar 13, now in Phase III clinical trials for the prevention of pneumococcal disease in adults, and an investigational vaccine in Phase II clinical trials for the prevention of meningococcal B disease (the most common meningococcal strain in the U.S. and Europe) in adolescents.
Our preventive vaccine early-research pipeline includes programs targeted to help protect against hospital-acquired infections, sexually transmitted diseases and meningococcal B disease in infants.
We are also exploring whether vaccines can do more than prevent diseases. We believe vaccines may be able to treat disease by stimulating specific immune responses. In this field of therapeutic vaccines, we have in-licensed an approach from Celldex Therapeutics for an immunotherapy vaccine to treat glioblastoma multiforme, the most common brain cancer in adults. This vaccine, now in Phase II trials, targets a mutated form of the epidermal growth factor receptor, which is found only in cancer cells. A successful vaccine in this area could help save, extend or improve the lives of tens of thousands of patients every year. A number of additional therapeutic vaccine targets are under active investigation.
With recent advances in science and technology, we are optimistic about making important progress with our vaccine pipeline. Our world-class research facilities and abundance of scientific expertise put us among the leaders in this exciting area of research.
The Pfizer-Celldex investigative therapeutic vaccine, currently in Phase II trials, has been featured on CNN, during Dr. Sanjay Gupta's Medical Breakthroughs segment. This investigative vaccine uses the body's own immune system to attack tumor cells. It does not work on every glioblastoma multiforme patient, just the ones whose brain cancer makes a particular protein. Unlike chemotherapy, which hurts all dividing cells in the body, immune therapies may be precise, so this approach offers a tumor-specific attack with the potential for very low toxicity.
The February 18, 2010, issue of the abstract Current Opinion in Neurology featured an article on the pressing need for more effective bacterial meningitis vaccines. "The remaining challenges are to introduce vaccines with broad protection against meningococci and pneumococcus, develop an effective vaccine against group B meningococcus and to get these highly effective vaccines to those areas of the world that most need them."